Cyberattacks in Lithuania surged when war in Ukraine began

In the first quarter of 2022, Lithuania recorded 1,020 cyberattacks compared to the 981 the country registered in the previous year. Overall for 2022, trends fail to show a decrease in cyber-incidents. [Shutterstock/Dmytro Tyshchenko]

The number of cyberattacks in Lithuania increased significantly at the end of February following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the first quarter of 2022, Lithuania recorded 1,020 cyberattacks compared to the 981 the country registered in the previous year. Overall for 2022, trends fail to show a decrease in cyber-incidents.

Russia’s war on Ukraine is not the only reason for the increasing number of cyber-attacks. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Belarusian hybrid attack against Lithuania also had a significant influence on the country’s cybersecurity situation.

“While the pandemic and the number of cyber-incidents linked to it which is still high has impelled us to focus more closely on strengthening cybersecurity maturity and training in the country, the war against Ukraine and intensification of corresponding cybersecurity risks have forced us to urgently take additional measures for strengthening the security of the state and critical infrastructure,” said Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas.

The surge in cyber-attacks since Russia’s invasion later decreased, though public and critical infrastructure managers maintain the alert level and readiness to ensure business continuity in case of various contingency scenarios.

Cybercrime also saw an increase in 2021. Lithuanian police registered over 50% more offences in electronic data and information systems than the year before, while Lithuanian people and companies lost twice as much money to financial scams, over €10 million, compared to  2020.

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